The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

49596

The first in the Tommy and Tuppence Mysteries. This is probably my least favorite book by Agatha Christie. I really struggled to get into this book. The characters did not appeal to me at all. The language was off, and I don’t mean in the sense that this novel was written over ninety years ago. The main character, Tuppence was silly and childish. The dialogue between Tuppence and Tommy was convoluted and strange, not at all what I am used to reading in her novels. I missed Agatha Christie’s classical whodunnit style of story as this book felt more like a spy story than a mystery.  Not to mention that I figured out the plot half-way through the book and the second half just dragged on and on. The Secret Adversary was the second book published by Agatha Christie after her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a book I absolutely loved. I’m not sure what Christie was trying to do with this book, but it did not work for me, and I’m not really looking forward to the other books in the series.


2F75E86AAE798551FE5434B18DF179AF

Curtain by Agatha Christie

81903

The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr. Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara, Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot’s declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the aging detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him?

Review

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan and I just love Poirot. I’ve read most of his stories and I even watched the old BBC series with David Suchet. Somehow, Curtain was never a book I really gravitated towards. One day while perusing my favorite used bookstore, I came across the book and decided to give it a try.

unnamed

To say that this novel is bittersweet is an understatement. First, Poirot and Hastings find themselves back at Styles, the house from the novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles where we were first introduced to the eccentric detective and to his friend Arthur Hastings. The other sad part is that we now find Poirot much older and in a wheelchair.

“Nothing is so sad, in my opinion, as the devastation wrought by age.
My poor friend. I have described him many times. Now to convey to you the difference. Crippled with arthritis, he propelled himself about in a wheelchair. His once plump frame had fallen in. He was a thin little man now.”

Despite Poirot’s crippled appearance, his “little gray cells” are working just fine and soon enough Poirot declares to Hastings that one of the guests at Styles has committed five murders and is about to commit one more.

I personally liked the book. I don’t think I would ever truly love any book that narrates Poirot’s last case. The end was sad, almost brought me to tears, but didn’t completely surprise me. This was also Christie’s last published book before she died. For fans of the genre, this novel will not disappoint you a bit. For Agatha Christie’s fans, this book is a must.

Review: Indelible by Peter Helton

Indelible

Chris Honeysett agrees to do an exhibition at the prestigious Bath Arts Academy together with several other artists to celebrate the Academy’s thirtieth-year anniversary. Shortly after arriving at the Academy, and against his better judgement, he takes on a position as a tutor. Several peculiar incidents start to happen leading to the death of one of his fellows and Honeysett being framed for murder.

Indelible is a mystery novel by Peter Helton. It is the sixth book in the Chris Honeysett series. My local librarian recommended me this title after an afternoon chat about my love for Agatha Christie. The front cover of the book even describes the characters of this book as Agatha Christie-like. But were they really? I’m not so sure. They were extremely quirky and the general feeling of the book reminded me very much of Christie’s novels, but what I really liked about this book was the amount of humor it contained.

Chris Honeysett is a great character! He is both a painter and a private detective with a self-deprecating sense of humor. He is probably a better painter than a PI, but his dialogues are pretty funny. There is also a significant amount of information about art and painting. The author has a fine arts degree and he uses that knowledge very well in composing the story. The end did not disappoint, but I found the early chapters were a bit too slow for my taste, and it took me a while to get into this book.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Indelible/Author: Peter Helton/Genre: Mystery / ISBN:9780727884237/Publisher: Severn House Publishers/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.